If you want to elope in Washington DC, this blog post showcases what your elopement could look like as an all-day event. While we walk through Karla and Tim’s beautiful fall elopement, discover what it would look like to have an elegant DC War Memorial ceremony with a string trio, explore art museums and the Union Station, and celebrate with your closest friends and family with an intimate dinner.

Getting Ready at the Airbnb

We started the day at an Airbnb in DC that Karla and Tim rented for a few days. It had plenty of room for each of them to get ready separately before their first look, and their family members were able to stay and get ready there too. Before putting on her wedding gown, Karla’s sister did her hair and makeup. I focused on capturing the intentional moments between them before getting ready for their first look. 

Karla & Tim’s First Look

Karla and Tim had their first look in the backyard of their Airbnb. It was just the two of them, so they could share that special moment together. Then, we brought out their two dogs, so we could take some “family photos” in front of the Airbnb with the pups! Don’t they look so cute! 

Heading to the Ceremony to Elope in Washington DC

They hired a private driver to take Karla to the ceremony location while the rest of us hopped in Tim’s car and parked along Ohio Drive (this is down the street from the DC War Memorial). Chairs had been set up under the covered DC War Memorial, and as guests began to arrive, Tim greeted them. The string trio played beautiful music as we waited in anticipation for the wedding ceremony to start.

DC War Memorial Wedding Ceremony

Karla and Tim had an elegant wedding ceremony. It was a beautiful and sweet ceremony officiated by a close friend of the couple. Then, right after their first kiss, they bustled Karla’s dress, so they could go straight into their first dance right there with everyone. It flowed so smoothly! 

While there were many amazing vendors that supported in running the wedding ceremony, the family and friends were an incredible help. If you’re able to delegate during your small wedding, you can include family members in the planning and organizing if they want to assist you. A wedding planner or coordinator might be a good idea for complicated timelines with lots of locations with guests, but sometimes, you just need someone to help corral guests into their seats and for family photos. 

Family and Friends Photos

Next, we jumped right into family and friends photos! I always make sure to have a printed-out list of names I gather from my couples ahead of time, so it’s easy to call out names and cross people off the list. Then, we dismissed family to be able to take a few newlywed photos around the DC War Memorial to utilize the decor and florals they had set up for their wedding ceremony. 

How to Elope in Washington DC at the DC War Memorial

Can you see yourself getting married with this DC War Memorial set up? I created a blog post for you that shows you how to plan a wedding at the DC War Memorial like Karla & Tim! Included are all of the details you need to confidently plan your elopement or intimate wedding at the DC War Memorial. You can check out the blog post here!

Next Stop: Union Station for Elegant Wedding Photos 

We hopped into the private driver’s car with a few of their friends and headed to Union Station, a gorgeous train and metro station in DC. The archways outside look like something from Paris and is always an elegant place for photos (look closely, Karla’s dress has pockets!! Which she definitely wanted to show off). 

Inside Union Station is a gorgeous open lobby with tall ceilings, archways, and marble floors. It’s very picturesque and makes for a great unique location (especially elopement photos!). The best part about Union Station is that it’s free to take photos there! Plus, for even more unique photos than the typical Union Station wedding photos, you can go on the metro! You can check out more Union Station wedding photos (including on the metro!) in this blog post.

Don’t forget to bring snacks when you elope in Washington DC!

It’s important to make note of food or snack breaks in your elopement day. Eloping in a city means there’s probably many options for quick food, but if you’re eloping in the mountains or somewhere else not easily accessible to food, make sure to pack lunches and snacks.

Inside Union Station, there are tons of shops and food options, so it was the perfect spot for us to grab some food. While I took flash photos of Karla and Tim on the stairs, Karla’s sister went to order Chick-Fil-A for all of us as we were starving!  

Exploring the National Portrait Gallery

Our next stop was the National Portrait Gallery, a must-see museum in DC. It’s one of the two main art museums, and it’s another location that’s free to take wedding and engagement photos in! But, before we entered the art exhibits, we danced for a minute at the Mexican music festival happening in the atrium. 

Art museums provide a wide variety of backdrops for different kinds of rooms, lighting, and of course, artwork. This was one of Karla & Tim’s favorite locations of the day – when I showed them photos on the back of my camera, they couldn’t contain their excitement!!

As Karla and Tim explored through the art gallery, I captured the moments that they shared together. As your DC elopement photographer, it’s not just about beautiful photos – it’s about planning and capturing an experience that’s uniquely you. 

Note: No real flowers are allowed in the museum, so please plan accordingly! 

Celebrating the Newlyweds

Our final stop for the night was RMP Italian in DC where Karla and Tim rented a private room. The tables were beautifully decorated for everyone to enjoy a 4-course meal served family style. Everyone enjoyed appetizers and cocktails as they waited for Karla & Tim to enter as newly married!! Karla even did an outfit change! The room was full of laughter as everyone enjoyed their dinner and time together celebrating Karla and Tim. 

Later in the evening, a few toasts were shared, including a welcome and thank you speech from the couple themselves. It was the perfect ending to a perfect DC fall elopement / intimate wedding. I’m honored to have been included in such a special and monumental day. 

Juliana Wall Photography | Washington DC Elopement and Intimate Wedding Photographer

Discover more elopement photos from this intimate wedding in DC below. Save the ones that you love to your Pinterest board or head over to my blog for other Washington DC wedding planning tips! 

Do you want to elope in Washington DC? 

With so many different destination wedding locations to choose from, I love that you are interested in eloping in Washington DC! It is such an incredible city and every wedding that I have the honor of capturing in DC is unique and creative in its own way. For your DC elopement, you can learn more about our services here or inquire for me to document your wedding here. I would love to work with you! You deserve a wedding photographer who gets you and understands your elopement vision. 

For more elopement planning resources to have a stress-free elopement, check out my blog

Amazing Vendors from This Washington DC Elopement


Florist: Something Borrowed Silk Florals

Ceremony Chairs: 876 Events Rentals

String Trio: Kennedy Music Center

Reception Dinner: RPM Italian DC

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